Thursday, 5 January 2012

Strange Covers - Japan

From The Quiet Life lp where Japan moved away from the glamish rock sound and look of the first 2 lps and settled on a sleazy Roxy Music sound.

In the days pre internet you forget about how difficult it was to find out about bands the copy of the Book of British Hit Singles in Smiths ,which at times we treated abit like the local library, was well thumbed by me and my friends trying to find out about a band.  This was mainly through bands either mentioning inspirations or songs they covered.

I'd never heard the Velvet Underground before (I did grow up in the fens!) until I heard this cover and ended up buying their Loaded lp second hand (probably not the best starting point). I played it a couple of times and decided to stick with Japan!

That probably sums up my music taste - I often like the pale imitation rather than the real thing (same thing happened with Echo and the Bunnymen and the Doors , Teardrop explodes and Love)

All Tomorrow's Parties - Japan


  1. Totally on point!!
    Japan were just some Brits trying to the NY Dolls on those first two albums. In fact I think they played a promotional show at CBGB's (where The Dolls actully never played).
    Quite Life changed it all for me. Sylvian's baritone was engaging. The watery, pulsing sound and the gall to cover All Tomorrow's Parties - and better than Ferry ever would have...golden.
    Points for the Bunnymen and Teardrops nods...I'll add Mac's September Song - a song with EGO dripping from the corners of the 12" sleeve!

  2. i hadnt come across them at all pre quiet life and when i saw the photos from the early lps i could see why!

  3. I worked with Dolls photographer and friend Bob Gruen for 24 yrs in NYC and he did a promotional shoot for Ariola of Japan in NYC back in the early days and seems they wanted his "Dolls Magic" for the shoot. Bob never had a good thing to say about the band...When I played Tin Drum in the office some yrs later I pointed out to him that it was the same band just some 3 year later, he couldn't process it.


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